Meet the Team at the Medieval Mile Museum – Over the next couple of weeks we want to introduce you to our team, and allow you to get to know them a little bit better!
Next up is Thomas Heffernan…
Your role in the museum?
I am a tour guide in the museum.
How did you get into your role?
I have worked in some aspect of Tourism for over 6 years. Most of that time was spent as a guide in Dublin. I also have some experience in the event and marketing side. I suppose I’ve always been a History nerd and will forever be a student of the subject. I once had a desk job in finance and then decided to go back to my first love. I haven’t looked back. On returning to Kilkenny I was privileged to get the role in Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile Museum.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Surprising people with nuggets of History and stories about Kilkenny they weren’t familiar with. Speaking to guests who may have their own tales and interpretation of History. It’s fascinating, the subject is never black and white and you learn something new everyday.
What is your favourite artefact in the museum, and why?
I have so many! I love the 17th century confederate coin. To think this coin was made in Kilkenny Castle and someone once held it during one of Kilkenny’s golden periods of History is amazing. I’m also fascinated by the High Crosses which gives an extra dimension to the museum. We remember not only our Norman past but also the people and Kind of ancient Ossory.
Favourite museum in the world, and why?
The National History Museum of Ireland. I have been to amazing museums around the world but I have to say I think our own national museum is fabulous. Especially love the Ardagh hoard and Bog bodies.
If you could meet a character from Kilkenny’s History who would you like to meet and why?
James Stephens, founding father of the Fenian movement. I’d ask him about his life and the time he lived in.
If you had the opportunity to ask a character from Kilkenny’s history anything, who would it be, and what would you ask them?
Domhnall McGiolla Padraig. Domhnall was the King of Ossory during the Norman invasion. He fought the Battle of Freshford against Diarmuid McMurrough and Strongbow. The McGiolla Padraig’s and Diarmuid had a long running feud even before the Norman arrival. I’d like to ask him about that.
Favourite attraction in Kilkenny (other than the museum of course)?
St. Canice’s Round Tower. From a Historical and non Historical point of view it’d excellent. The view is spectacular, you’d be hard pressed to find a better vantage point in Kilkenny.